Eugene Wamalwa will be in government, Raila Odinga says

Raila Odinga

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition presidential aspirant Raila Odinga addresses a rally in Lurare village, Webuye East constituency, Bungoma County.

Photo credit: Jared Nyataya | Nation Media Group

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya presidential hopeful Raila Odinga has promised Western another Cabinet post as he intensifies his vote hunt in the region ahead of the August General Election.

After dangling the position of National Treasury Cabinet Secretary and Senate Speaker to Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and former National Assembly Speaker Kenneth Marende respectively, Mr Odinga yesterday said Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa would be in his government.

The region has mostly backed the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader from 2007 but Deputy President William Ruto is making inroads after he promised to create the post of Prime Cabinet Secretary for Amani National Congress (ANC) boss Musalia Mudavadi and Speaker of National Assembly to Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.

Mr Oparanya and Mr Marende come from Kakamega and Vihiga respectively but Mr Wamalwa – who is associated with the Democratic Action Party of Kenya is from Trans Nzoia.

“Dr Mukhisa Kituyi was with me in the second liberation and wanted to be president but stepped down in my favour. He is in my campaign team,” Mr Odinga said yesterday.

“Eugene is my pointman and will remain in government.”

He said Nyanza and Western regions should operate as one.

“I have come to Western because I am one of you. I would love Western and Nyanza to be in the Lake Basin region so that we can move together,” Mr Odinga said.

Leaders at Mr Odinga’s rallies included Mr Oparanya, Mr Wamalwa, and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Governors Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma) and James Ongwae (Kisii) and a host of MPs.

They poked holes in the deal signed between Dr Ruto, Mr Mudavadi and Senator Wetang’ula.

Mr Wangamati said the region would benefit should Mr Odinga become president in August.

“Our competitors asked Western leaders supporting Raila to disclose our deal. We will be in Baba’s government without any conditions. Those in the other camp have been asked for 70 per cent of Western Kenya’s votes. Where will they get them?” the Bungoma governor asked.

Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi said the DP is not a friend of Western Kenya.

Mr Odinga said he would address problems in the maize sector, promising to reduce the cost of farm inputs.

“Agriculture is subsidised the world over. Our farmers are suffering, fertiliser costs are high, there are no seeds and mechanisation. Fertiliser prices will fall to Sh2,000 a bag in September,” Mr Odinga said.

“We will also curb the importation of maize from Uganda and elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, Mr Odinga’s running mate Martha Karua yesterday said looters of public resources would face the law if Azimio la Umoja One Kenya alliance takes power.

“Our immediate task will be to fight corruption and ensure those who have looted public coffers have their day in court. We will be above reproach,” Ms Karua said in Naivasha.

 She urged Kenyans to elect leaders with a record in fighting corruption.

Ms Karua said the Azimio administration would prudently use taxpayers’ money.

The Narc Kenya boss urged Kenyans not to be swayed by those giving them money during campaigns.

She praised the promised “Babacare” scheme, saying it would ensure universal health.

Ms Karua said money meant for development had in the past ended in the pockets of a few greedy leaders.

“The only sure way of developing the country is launching a ruthless fight on corruption,” she added.

The former cabinet minister described Naivasha as a commercial hub and defended the decision by President Uhuru Kenyatta to set up a dry port in the town.

Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya said the Azimio team is opposed to any move aimed at returning port services to Mombasa.

Earlier in Subukia, Ms Karua said Azimio rivals are panicking after sensing defeat.

“While campaigning, leaders should stop selling lies. They should let people decide who  they will vote for,” she said.

Additional reporting by Macharia Mwangi and Mercy Koskey


You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.